The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) informed a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that two of its crucial witnesses in the N29 billion fraud cases against former Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako and his son, Abdulazis, have died mysteriously.
The EFCC made the disclosure while opposing bail application filed by the accused, arguing that the sudden death of two of its key witnesses in the case had instilled fears in the minds of other witnesses thus preventing them from coming forward to testify against Nyako and his co-accused.
The EFCC said the two witnesses were Abdulmalik Dalhatu and a Regional Manager with Zenith Bank, Ma’aji Mohammad Iro, who was in charge of Adamawa State Government’s accounts with the bank and allegedly assisted the former governor in the looting spree.
EFCC said because “two of our crucial witnesses, Ma’aji Mohammed Iro and Abdulmalik Dalhatu have died in mysterious circumstances,” this has instilled fear in other prospective witnesses in the case.
Explaining how the former governor and his accomplices allegedly looted Adamawa State of billions of naira into their private companies,
EFCC argued that it would be too dangerous to allow the accused persons go on bail.
Nyako, his son , Abdulazis, as well as two of the former governor’s former aides, Zulkifikk Abba and Abubakar Aliyu, along with five companies in which they allegedly have interests had been arraigned in June by the EFCC before the Abuja court on a 37-count charge bordering on conspiracy, money laundering and abuse of office.
The companies are Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms & Extension Ltd, Pagoda Fortunes Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.
However, temporary relief came for the accused persons as they were granted bail in the sum of N350 million each by the court which turned down the objection of the EFCC.
Ruling on the matter on Friday, presiding judge, Justice Evoh Chukwu, not only turned down EFCC’s objection but also granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of N350 million each with either two sureties or one, who is a director in any Federal Government’s establishment.
The sureties, according to Justice Chukwu, must own landed property in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), show evidence of tax payment for the last three years and must swear to affidavit of means. He also ordered the accused to deposit their travel documents with the
When the charge was read to the accused earlier on Wednesday, they had all pleaded not guilty and on Friday, Justice Chukwu adjourned further hearing in the matter to September 30.